I’m sure most women have heard of our innate ability to just sense certain things. This ability is termed as a woman’s intuition. A woman’s intuition is described as a woman’s ability to pick up on and interpret subtle non-verbal messages. Some say a woman’s intuition has developed as a product of evolution, as in history there was a time women were only “seen, not heard”. This state of being enabled women to learn to become more aware of their own feelings and non-verbal cues. However, others argue it’s just a myth.
Whether it’s true or not, we all are born with some type of intuition. Our bodies speak to us all the time, unfortunately many of us have been conditioned not to listen. With that being said there are not as many intuitive eaters in the world as it probably should be. Yes, I said intuitive eaters! Intuitive eating is a nutrition philosophy that recognizes that honoring hunger and fullness cues is a much more effective way to maintain a healthy weight, as opposed to counting calories and carbs.
Biologically, yes, it has been proven that our brain communicates with our body to signal hunger and fullness. Leptin, which is produced by our fat cells, communicates with our bodies to stop eating, as it aids in the long-term regulation of energy. Contrastingly, we also have the ghrelin hormone which is responsible for communicating with our body to let us know when we are hungry. Next, Neuropeptide Y is a chemical messenger in the brain that signals the body to increase food intake and decreased physical activity when there is a drop in blood sugar.
Our body has all the tools needed to honor our hunger and fullness cues, if we can become intuitive eaters we can stop the carb counting, the calorie counting, and enjoy food without so much rigidity. Don’t get me wrong, meal plans are really helpful because many people don’t know what a balanced meal looks like. And in some cases strict diets are needed due to advance health conditions or concerns. However, generally speaking, if you’re just looking for a long-term way to maintain a healthy diet and weight, stop labeling foods “good” and “bad”. Enjoy all foods in moderation, enjoy balanced meals, and learn to honor your body’s hunger and fullness cues by learning to intuitively eat!
If this is a foreign topic to you or just want to give it a try, below are 10 principles of intuitive eating outlined by IntuitiveEating.Org.
1. Reject the Diet Mentality: stop counting calories and carbs and stop looking for the quick-fix way to lose weight.
2. Honor you Hunger: Keep your body fed with energy in the form of food, this includes carbohydrates!
3. Make Peace with Food: Don’t deprive yourself of certain foods, it will make you crave it even more.
4. Challenge the Food Police: Remove the “good” and “bad” labels from food
5. Respect your Fullness: Eat slowly and take breaks during meals to increase sensitivity to your bodies fullness level.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor: Don’t take the pleasure out of eating.
7. Honor your feelings without using food: Food will not solve your problems, so avoid emotionally eating.
8. Respect your Body: Regardless of what you eat, we all genetically will have different body types.
9. Exercise—Feel the Difference: Working out shouldn’t be about losing calories, but about feeling good.
10. Honor your Health: Honor your taste buds, but don’t abandon your health in the process, your body needs certain nutrients.